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Ecotourism seems to be a buzz word amongst travelers nowadays, but members of the tourism industry have been working for years to facilitate their guests’ exploration of the many natural wonders that surround their hotels and resorts around the world.
And statistics show that these efforts have not been in vain. According to Recommend’s 2018 Travel Trends Survey, a combined 69 percent of travel agents said that they book their clients on ecotourism and adventure vacations. When asked what are the top trends they see for clients requesting tour operator vacations, 32 percent pointed to adventure/outdoor sports as a popular request.
Barceló Hotel Group may not be a tour operator, but the demand for ecotourism is there and Barceló properties, especially those throughout Mexico, are rising to the occasion to meet that demand.
“Barceló Hotel Group’s Latin American properties offer easy access to eco-adventures in pristine, one-of-a-kind locations,” said Juan Perez Sosa, senior v.p. of sales and marketing at Barceló. “Guests will return from their getaways with a new appreciation for the wonders of nature,” he added.
Take for example the all-inclusive Occidental at Xcaret Destination located in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Set amongst lush gardens and featuring natural river formations, the property can be seen as an ecotourism destination in and of itself; however, what makes Occidental at Xcaret Destination ideal for those looking to experience the natural beauty of Riviera Maya is the resort’s proximity to Xcaret Park, a 200-acre eco-archaeological theme park. At Xcaret Park, visitors can explore 40 exhibits and attractions, including underground rivers and pools (cenotes), a Coral Reef Aquarium, a Butterfly Pavilion, a Manatee Lagoon and more. Not only is Occidental at Xcaret Destination next to this perfect ecotourism park, it also offers a special package for guests who want to make the most of their visit to Xcaret. Through the Unlimited Xcaret Xperience package, guests can enjoy unlimited access to Xcaret Park during their stay, along with VIP hotel check-in with a special Mayan welcome, complimentary minibar, and 10 percent off meals and beverages at the park. The resort also offers a complimentary riverboat to Xcaret Park making it easy for guests to take full advantage of the package.
Elsewhere in Mexico on the tranquil island of Cozumel, Barceló offers travelers in search of ecotourism-focused vacations an additional two options that are sure to please their inner adventure-seekers: Occidental Cozumel and Allegro Cozumel.
With these two properties, location is key to what makes them ideal for ecotourism as both offer easy access to the Palancar Reef—one of the top scuba diving and snorkeling destinations in the world. The clear waters of Palancar offer up to 200 ft. of visibility so guests can truly admire the sea turtles, eagle rays, and tropical fish that call the reef home. Guests can also explore the nearby Cozumel Reef National Park. The 67,133-acre park is home to one of the largest, most biologically diverse reefs in the world.
“Both the all-inclusive Occidental Cozumel and the all-inclusive Allegro Cozumel are fully equipped to provide guests of all skill levels with everything they need for awe-inspiring underwater adventures,” said Perez Sosa.
For those looking to take their ecotourism experience to the next level, Allegro Cozumel offers the Ultimate Dive Experience package, which includes one diver’s tank per day, an Ultimate Dive Experience exclusive ID wristband, accommodations within an exclusive section of the hotel near the beach diving shop, a special hanger to dry diving suits outside of the room, and more.
With properties offering so many opportunities for ecotourism adventures, Barceló has also focused on operating in a way that is sustainable for the environment.
“Being environmentally conscious is of key importance to Barceló Hotel Group,” said Perez Sosa. “The hotel chain’s resorts thrive on the beauty and cleanliness of our surroundings and enhancing green initiatives to preserve the natural world remains a top priority.”
For more information, visit barcelo.com.
Barceló Hotel Group currently has 236 leisure and city hotels with 4 and 5 stars, and over 52,000 rooms in 22 countries, all marketed under four brands: Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts, an elite group of luxury resorts; Barceló Hotels & Resorts, a renowned upscale resort brand featuring a blend of multi-resort all-inclusive complexes and urban-centric properties; Occidental Hotels & Resorts, one of the leaders in all-inclusive resorts in North America with more than a dozen properties; and Allegro Hotels, budget-conscious hotels in some of the world’s most desirable locations.